Comparing Creon's Metamorphosis in Antigone, Oedipus the King, and Oedipus at Colonus

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Creon's Metamorphosis in Antigone, Oedipus the King, and Oedipus at Colonus

Temptation is ever present in our society and always has been throughout human history. When a person gives into temptation, this is seen as a sign of weakness. Usually, after a person has given into temptation once, that person will find each successive temptation easier and easier to give in to. Before realizing it, this person has changed into a completely false, morally lacking being. Over the course of Sophocles' three plays Antigone, Oedipus the King, and Oedipus at Colonus, Creon gradually changes from a moral, just king into a morally corrupt and deceptive character.

In the opening of the first Theban play, Oedipus the
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Who would?*

How could kingship

Please me more than influence, power

Without a qualm? (Lines 654-665).

Even the chorus backs Creon up in his self-defense. After Creon tells Oedipus not to "Convict me on sheer unverified surmise" (Line 683), the chorus agrees with Creon, telling Oedipus, "Good advice / my lord, for anyone who wants to avoid disaster. / Those who jumps to conclusions may go wrong" (Lines 691-693). Even when it is evident that Oedipus should excuse Creon of this great accusation, Oedipus remains ignorant. At this point, the audience, knowing that he is unwarrantedly being accused of high treason, pities Creon.

Towards the end of Oedipus the King, Creon's change first becomes apparent. Now that Oedipus has blinded himself and gives up his throne, his seat is left unfilled. Although Creon doesn't jump at the opportunity to become the new king, he takes on some authority, driving out Oedipus from the land. Even though it was Oedipus' idea to be exiled, Creon does little to stop him, perhaps realizing with Oedipus gone, it is he who will be king.

Creon's change is greatly noticed in the next Theban play, Oedipus at Colonus. It is in this play where the audience sees Creon as a different person and begins to grow a great hatred toward him. First, it is implied that Creon must have taken the throne with some kind of force. Oedipus at Colonus describes the way in which Oedipus'

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